Spring Break! Yay, no school! we can do whatever we want, right?
Unfortunately, Alli does not also get spring break, so really this just means a full week with no breaks from children. I decided this year I needed a plan. Play dates, a schedule.. the zoo, the science center, swimming at the Y? What were my best options? And then I had an idea that might knock out a couple of days. Basically I thought about what a tourist in Nashville would do-- what would I do with the kids if we were visiting Nashville from somewhere else. And I decided to book us a tour on the trolley. Monday I think I had plans to do something like a zoo or science center visit, but the kids started off the day playing well together on their own, and the effort to make them dress and go somewhere was just too much. Oh, we did make a run to the hardware store and picked up some bed edging material, and we started to stake out our garden area.

we also picked up a garden weasel so we could loosen the soil in preparation for our garden, and a bunch of grass seed to put all over the yard. The kids enjoyed weaseling:
(we put grass seed in this bed area we're trying to get rid of, so loosening the soil here).
and being generally cute
but yes, Tuesday, we bought 2-day passes on Nashville's Old Town Trolley. I actually thought this might be kinda useful to me too, because I don't actually spend a ton of time in downtown Nashville, and you don't always get the freedom to kind of see how things go together when you're driving as when you can passively take things in like on a tour. Of course, the children were ecstatic about a trolley ride.
We drove to the parthenon where we could park for free, hopped on, and followed the tour past Vanderbilt, up and down music row (where I learned that Johnny Cash's a Boy Named Sue was written by Shel Silverstein), through the Gulch, and over to Broadway. 
We hopped off the bus here and made as brisk a walk as is possible with two less-than-entirely-cooperative toddlers enchanted by imitation ice cream and Elvis statues to the downtown library for the 11:30 story time.
Story time was great, as always. Manimal even boldly raised his hand and got called on to ask a question: "why is the box of crayons on top of that castle?" a fitting question.. the answer is that they just store it there until it's time for their "let's make a rainbow" song.
We proceeded to a bit of arts and crafts and a little play area:
And then! after a brief exchange where I was irritated that the clerk needed proof of address for my children who would only be add-ons to my account, when I was already demonstrated to be eligible, we managed to get them library cards!
(Manimal is suspicious).
The cat herding continued for the 6 blocks or so back down to Broadway. At least we got a photo with this boot:
And suddenly everyone was going to eat their arm starving. I promised them we would find a hot dog stand and just be able to grab a bite outside, but we didn't see anyone. So we popped into Rock Bottom brewery and had a bite to eat.
That actually worked out quite well- they were entertained with their coloring options, happy with their food, and I even had a half pint of beer.
Finally, back on the trolley we got. For added fun, this one was the double-decker size bus, so we could sit way up high.
Strangers may or may not have tried to catch Manimal for fear he would jump right out of this window later in the trip...
It was definitely not my intention first thing in the morning that we go out and be gone all day long and skip naps, but that's how it is sometimes. You don't get away as soon as you plan, kids walk slow, and you end up with the sit down lunch instead of something speedy. I think it was 3:30 by the time we were getting back to the parthenon and our car (having started the tour at 10 in the morning). One manimal was asleep when we got home:
And one Hamish just rested her eyes for a minute on the couch:
We ended up cutting these naps a little short and having an early bedtime. 

Wednesday I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go make it worth our money or just consider it a one-day thing. But.. I let the kids vote, so back to the trolley we went. Unfortunately, it was really a one day thing. Kids were just so much more disruptive and aggravating. Hamish wanted to sit on my lap for the bus ride, but by no means to be still. Manimal wanted to keep a stream-of-consciousness song going for the full ride while I tried to remind him that others might actually want to hear the tour details. We repeated the same parthenon starting point, but I planned to switch it up a little, ride back downtown first but after hanging out some, maybe a pedestrian bridge walk or something? - take a regular bus back across town to the parthenon.

We got off near the Ryman this time because the kids started complaining about arm-eating disease again. I don't even remember what my original goal had turned into, but I know it was a pretty cold day and any of the outdoor activities got nixed. I hustled them into a Panera and assuaged their hunger with bagels-- ultimately unsuccessful, I think there was crying because no cookies. I decided it was time to get home and call the trip done. As we walked out the door, the free downtown line bus was sitting outside, so we hopped on and rode around. This was one of about 2 pictures I took this day:

I didn't exactly know the best plan though, and I ended up getting off the bus and deciding I needed to walk 6 or 7 blocks back, so we could go in the bus terminal, so we could wait 15-20 mins, ride another bus back to the parthenon, and then walk across centennial park because that bus doesn't actually let out at the parthenon. Herding cats the entire way. *Having* public transit is great. Relying on it would not be so great.
I asked Alli to have some PB&J sandwiches waiting on us when we get home. I hustled them through eating and took them to their rooms and wouldn't read nap time stories because I was done. More crying. 

So, if you have toddlers, stick with one day on the trolley. The first day, though full, was fun. The second day, not.

My enthusiasm for filling the week with activities fell through the floor. We did the gym and Y play Thursday. We spent more time preparing our garden area:
I took the kids to get hair cuts, which led to this picture before church Sunday:
And while we had some fun, and I'm glad we got to ride the trolley, I was happy when the next week was back to the routine. So happy I was willing to take them to the zoo after school on Wednesday (bonus pictures!)
(this is what they look like when they are tired of walking).